Wills World Cup, Group B


Toss: United Arab Emirates.

England beat the Emirates with 15 overs in hand, but felt little more than relief at avoiding embarrassment. Meanwhile, they lost White for the rest of the tournament when he strained an intercostal muscle - as he had done in Australia a year earlier. England's man of the match, Neil Smith, also made an enforced departure from the field. He was violently sick after being promoted to open, his customary role in Warwickshire's Sunday side, and scoring 27 in 31 balls. That slowed down England's reply a little, but Thorpe finished the job. The result had never been in doubt. Though Zarawani chose to bat on a cracked, dry pitch, his batsmen made little headway - apart from Hussain, who hit six fours. DeFreitas, recalled on his 30th birthday, claimed two for 11 in his first eight-over spell and, after the restrictions on deep fielders during the first 15 overs were removed, the Emirates took 11 overs to limp from 44 for two to 50 for five. Those three wickets fell to Smith's off-spin. He had Mehra caught behind and bowled Hussain and Arshad Laiq, all in the space of eight balls. Despite his accident against Donald, Zarawani continued to spurn a helmet.

Man of the Match: N. M. K. Smith.

© John Wisden & Co